Map of Nepal: Government should be respected by neighbors and the world

Four days after China released the new “standard map”, the Nepal government said on Friday that it is sticking to the political and administrative map passed by Parliament in 2020.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “Nepal stands firmly and clearly on its political and administrative map, which was unanimously approved by the Nepali Parliament in 2020.”

In response to media inquiries regarding the “2023 Edition of the Standard Map of China” issued on August 28, 2023, a State Department spokesperson issued a clarification amid mounting calls from various departments to discuss the matter with China.

The statement stated that the government of Nepal unequivocally believes that this map should be respected by our neighbors as well as the international community, without mentioning China by name.

The response came after the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources on Monday released a map which showed the old map of Nepal which was in use before May 2020. And after the escalation of the border dispute caused by the new map of India in 2019 which showed Kalapani, Lepulekh and Limpidura within its borders. Borders The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sharma Oli in May 2020 released a new map which includes the areas occupied by India as part of Nepal. Despite diplomatic contacts between Nepal and China to use the new map for communications and official purposes, Beijing’s recent move has sparked controversy.

The statement said Nepal remains committed to resolving border issues through dialogue and diplomacy.

On Friday afternoon, Dahal’s party said the map issue would be raised during the prime minister’s visit to China.

According to the party leaders, a high-ranking delegation from the Communist Party of Nepal-UML, which will leave for China Saturday night, will also discuss the matter with Chinese officials.

Agni Prasad Sapkota, Vice President of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), said the new map would be discussed during the prime minister’s visit. “China’s failure to integrate the real map of Nepal will be shown during the prime minister’s visit.”

“This is an important issue. The reason for this gag and how the new map of Nepal was not integrated should be addressed diplomatically. We learned that the previous government contacted China after the map was released,” Sapkota said.

Political leaders have expressed their concerns about why China is ignoring the new map of Nepal. They called on the government to investigate and report the results to the Nepalese people.

India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam formally protested the new Chinese map over which they compete for territory.

The new map of Nepal was unveiled in May 2020 by merging the three regions adding a pointed protrusion in the northwest corner.

Sapkota said diplomatic talks are necessary to understand why the new map will not be used.

On Friday morning, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Cheng Song held talks with Prime Minister Dahal, but it is not known whether the map issue was discussed.

The Chinese ambassador inquired about the preparations for the visit and what agendas Nepal will put forward in China. Ramesh Malla, Dahal’s aide, said he urged the prime minister to finalize the visit agenda without delay.

Quoting the Chinese ambassador on their concerns, Malla said that if the Nepalese side exchanges the visit agenda on time, it will be easier for the Chinese to finalize their agreements for signing deals.

Subsequently, the Prime Minister instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, N.B. Saud and the other ministers and secretaries to agree soon on the agenda to be taken up in China. The prime minister is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders after attending the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.

In his brief remarks to the newspaper, Haripul Jagurel, Dahal’s chief political advisor, said there was no cause for concern as the prime minister would discuss the issue in Beijing.

The UML delegation, led by Party General Secretary Shankar Pokhrel, will discuss the matter with Chinese officials. “We will definitely raise this issue and ask Chinese leaders and officials to use the new tool,” said Rajan Bhattarai, UML’s head of external relations. “But the government’s job is to write to China and ask why they don’t use the new map.”

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